Saturday, September 8, 2012

Art Blog: "WE MATTER"

We all ponder. We all ask life questions. I have been a little too deep for my own britches since I was a very little girl. I can remember being very young laying in the grass looking up at the sky and asking
with my overdramatic, pre-kindergarten mind.

I still do that. Just now I tend to ask Facebook instead of the sky. LOL
I recently put up a post about feeling the art "blahs". It turned into a great discussion. There were all kinds of opinions and feedback. One suggested the book Van Gogh Blues. I am done with art self help books, but this title perked my curiosity. So I started researching. It is written my Eric Maisel. I read a few excerpts on of the book and watched a YouTube video in which he explains the theme of the book. His premise is artists (all creative types) want to "hold meaning afloat". He also mentions the specific condition of Existential Depression.

I had never heard those two words put together. I have heard of existentialism and of course, depression. I just never linked the two. I have fought biological depression my entire life. I got those genes from both sides of my family. I know about it and how to deal. However, I had never realized that some of this is the "existential" variety. I love that I now have an official name for the "art blahs".

So how do you treat this condition. Well, if you already know you aren't in medical trouble (You have seen a doctor/therapist), you can first eat right and exercise to rid yourself of some demons. Also, you can talk it out. Change your own inner dialogue about your choices in life and stop the "I am not worthy" rolling tape in your mind. I am so guilty of this. My rational self knows I am an artist of worth and I have worked long and hard to get to this point in my life. There is no logical reason for me to be feeling droopy or sad about being the artist I chose to be. However, sometimes we just need to talk it out. That is why I posted my thoughts on Facebook. This is a healthy thing.

It is kind of funny because we artists know in our hearts we really do matter. We all know there are times when we all question this fact. The best cure is to get back in there and be persistent. The mere act of creating can be tough, but the end result is a lifted spirit and feelings of accomplishment. Our tenacity will overcome any doubts and it also answers my original question; "WHY?"

wood, glass, acrylic
Click pic to see more of my newest "Habitats" Series


Lou from Dead Deco said...

Hello Sheree. I must also agree that I had never put those two terms together before, but they do seem to be an excellent descriptor for that low period that most artists encounter. Your suggestions are simple and effective. I would like to add one other that could contribute to a greater feeling of fulfillment for artists with regard to the work itself.

I think many artists feel a lack of growing momentum in their work because they tend to be too transient in their pursuits. One day it's photography and the next it's painting, and so on, but with no unifying subject matter or theme. What I mean is if an artist continuously creates work that is disjointed from a singular thread, then the work in total becomes random and lacks overall strength. The artist feels lost because their work is too scattered. Honing one's work to a focus on style, technique or subject can help bring clarity of vision and strength to one's conviction as an artist by solidifying their work's voice. This will then yield tremendous confidence and meaning.

Sheree Rensel said...

Dead Deco,
I totally agree with you. I had been on a straight course for years. I did my thing and stuck to it. THEN in recent years, it is if I panicked. I started doing everything and anything. I think I have been trying to be current without regard to my own spirit.
Actually, I am glad for this disruption. It has taught me a lot. Like you said, it has brought me more clarity and vision. What more can we ask???
Thank you so much for your comment!